The Bay Area Bio Lab & Synthetic Biology, False Solutions Part Two, Panel Discussion
Convened by: Alliance for Humane Biotechnology, California BioSafety Alliance, California Coalition For Workers Memorial Day, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, ETC Group, Friends of the Earth, Global Justice Ecology Project, Injured Workers National Network, International Center for Technology Assessment, Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project, West County Toxics Coalition.
A Risky Development:
The University of California, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and the US Department of Energy have unveiled plans to build a high profile biotech laboratory in the East Bay. The lab and associated commercial activity will focus on developing biofuels and other products using synthetic biology: an extreme form of genetic engineering that creates artificial life.
Ground Zero for Syn Bio:
Already a multi-billion dollar field, synthetic biology is fast becoming the next 'biotech bubble' with the Bay Area as ground zero for this new industry . The San Francisco Bay Area is already home to over a dozen synthetic biology companies backed by some of the world's largest energy, pharmaceutical, chemical and agribusiness players as well as "garage biotech" hackers. The next generation biofuels under development are a false solution to our environmental crises. The risks synthetic biology poses to worker safety, public health, social justice, and the environment are poorly understood and are as yet effectively unregulated.